Jetpack Joyride was already really good. With today’s free update, it’s even gooder. However, I question the entire premise of this being a “free” update. Yeah, sure, it’s free in that you don’t have to pay anything when you get it. Your copy of Jetpack Joyride will automatically update without you paying a cent.
But then you start playing and you’re confronted with two empty slots where you can equip gadgets (pictured). Go ahead and start playing anyway. In the starting room, you’ll see a pair of empty picture frames where your equipped gadgets would go. You want gadgets. You need gadgets. Gadgets are the new money sinks where cosmetic doo-dads used to go. But gadgets actually do stuff. As such, you will definitely want as many gadgets as you can get your stubby little jetpack operating hands on.
That’s not going to happen any time soon. Gadgets are expensive. Each one — there are fifteen — costs around 5000 gold. If you’ll indulge me, let’s do a little math. I tend to make 250 gold on the average run. That means 20 runs to buy each gadget. That means 300 runs to unlock all the gadgets, give or take. At which point I can now try to claw my way up from the bottom of the high score list. Or I can just buy gold as an in-app purchase. This is a cornerstone of Jetpack Joyride’s design.
The update doesn’t just add more grinding to encourage in-app purchases. It also seems to make the slot machine a more prominent part of the game. For starters, I’ve seen more slot machine tokens, which means the slot machine figures more prominently. My first run with the update was a record breaker, but not by virtue of me being better. Instead, I got a free life in the slot machine, which I promptly lost, but not before getting another slot machine token. My pull on the slot machine netted me three more tokens, one of which got me a small blast to push me a little farther down the run. Another of the free spins got me a nuclear blast to push me considerably farther down the run. New high score! Take that, you three people on my friends list who are now under my high score. Three down, about thirty to go! Seriously, how are all you people making 3000m and 4000m runs?
After the jump, browse the gadget catalog Continue reading →